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Post-doctoral researcher

phone: +32 (0)2 650 45 11

e-mail: Jerome.Duminil@ulb.ac.be

Research interests

I am a population geneticist and evolutionary biologist with a wide range of interests. I had primarily focused my research on the macro-evolution of plant genetic structure at the population and the species scale. Investigating plant genetic structure necessitates an integration of different scientific fields like molecular evolution, organelle genetics and evolution, phylogeography and phylogeny.

Integrating all these disciplines, I have analysed the organisation of plant species genetic diversity, using phylogenetic-controlled comparative approaches at different scales: i) at a cellular scale, investigating the relations between population genetic structure based on organelle markers and mutational process of these genomes; ii) at a species scale, investigating the relations between population genetic structure based on organelle and nuclear markers and life history traits of these species.

I have also conducted a "blind" population genetic study on a complex of tropical species. Tropical tree species identification is difficult outside of their period of reproduction. The use of a blind procedure would represent a first-choice option whenever related taxa are investigated.

Current situation

  1. Associate scientist at Bioversity International: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/about-us/who-we-are/staff-bios/single-details-bios/duminil-jerome/

  2. SAFORGEN network coordinator: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/research-portfolio/forest-tree-genetic-diversity/saforgen/

  3. ULB scientific collaborator.


  1. PhD in Forest Biology (2002-2006, Ecole Doctorale of Nancy, France)

  2. Master in Forest Biology (2001-2002, Ecole Doctorale of Nancy, France)

  3. Undergraduate Specialisation Diploma (Licence and Maîtrise) in Cellular Biology and Physiology (specialisation: plant physiology) (1999-2001, Université Montpellier II, France)

  4. Undergraduate General Diploma (Diplôme d’Etudes Universitaires Générales) in Cellular Biology and Physiology (1998-1999, Université Bordeaux I, France)


Ph.D. thesis: "Comparative analysis of plant diversity studies" - UMR BIOGECO, Genetic team, Cestas, FRANCE. Supervised by Rémy PETIT

Duminil PhD thesis.pdf

The level and the organisation of species genetic diversity are controlled for by mutation, selection, migration and drift. The respective role of these forces is influenced by ecological species traits, inheritance of their genome as well as by historical factors. Understanding the contribution of each of these factors on genetic structure necessitate a comparative framework that control for phylogenetic relatedness of the species.

Dealing with phylogenetic controlled comparative method we had first study the evolution of organelle genomes, and its relationships with molecular and biological characteristics of the studied species. Many relationships were demonstrated and interpreted in the light of two different models of molecular evolution: (i) a nearly-neutral model, and (ii) a model of deletional bias. We had, in a second part, compiled plant genetic structure studies based on uniparental (chloroplast and mitochondria) and on biparental (nuclear) markers.

The resulting database was then used to (i) study the influence of genome inheritance on the precision of the measure of the genetic structure, (ii) study the relationships between life history traits of the species and the way they partition genetic diversity. Finally, we had studied the repartition of genetic structure in a complex of tropical tree species: Carapa procera/guianensis. Difficulties in morphological recognition of these species were overlapped using genetic identification and a contrasted genetic structure between both species was demonstrated indicating differences in their seed migration abilities.

Master thesis: "Evolution of non coding sequences of chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA in angiosperms: detection of trends in their sizes and of horizontal transfers" - UMR BIOGECO, Genetic team, Cestas, FRANCE. Supervised by Rémy PETIT


Dainou K, Mahy G, Duminil J, et al. (2014) Speciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa: insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae). Heredity.

Duminil J (2014) Mitochondrial genome and plant taxonomy. Methods Mol Biol 1115, 121-140.

Heuertz M, Duminil J, Dauby G, Savolainen V, Hardy OJ (2014) Comparative Phylogeography in Rainforest Trees from Lower Guinea, Africa. PLoS ONE 9, e84307.

Duminil J, Brown RP, Ewédjè E-EBK, et al. (2013) Large-scale pattern of genetic differentiation within African rainforest trees: Insights on the roles of ecological gradients and past climate changes on the evolution of Erythrophleum spp (Fabaceae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 13, 195.

Hardy OJ, Born C, Budde K, et al. (2013) Comparative phylogeography of African rain forest trees: A review of genetic signatures of vegetation history in the Guineo-Congolian region. Comptes Rendus - Geoscience 345, 284-296.

Parmentier I, Duminil J, Kuzmina M, et al. (2013) How effective are DNA barcodes in the identification of African rainforest trees? PLoS ONE 8, e54921.

Koffi KG, Heuertz M, Jans R, et al. (2012) Characterization of new microsatellite loci isolated from Santiria trimera (Burseraceae). American Journal of Botany 99, e334-e336.

Duminil J, Kenfack D, Viscosi V, Grumiau L, Hardy OJ (2012) Testing species identification and delimitation in sympatric species complexes: the case of an African tropical tree, Carapa spp. (Meliaceae) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62, 275-285.

Duminil J, Koffi GK, Debout G, Sebastiani F, Vendramin GG, Heuertz M, González-Martínez SC, Hardy OJ (2011) Isolation of SSR markers for two African tropical tree species Erythrophleum ivorense and E. suaveolens (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) AJB Primer Notes & Protocols 98, 106-118.

Duminil J, Heuertz M, Doucet J-L, Bourland N, Cruaud C, Gavory F, Doumenge C, Navascués M, Hardy OJ (2010) Cp-DNA based species identification and phylogeography: application to African tropical tree species. Molecular Ecology 19, 5469-5483.

Dauby G, Duminil J, Heuertz M, Hardy OJ (2010) Chloroplast DNA polymorphism and phylogeography of a Central African tree species widespread in mature rainforests: Greenwayodendron suaveolens (Annonaceae) Tropical Plant Biology 3, 4-13.

Duminil J, Di Michele M (2009) Plant species delimitation: a comparison of morphological and molecular markers. Plant Biosystem 143, 528-542.
Duminil & al. 2009 PB.pdf

Duminil J, Hardy OJ, Petit RJ (2009) Plant traits correlated with generation time directly affect inbreeding depression and mating system and indirectly genetic structure. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9, 177.
Duminil_BMC EvolBiol_2009.pdf

Duminil J, Grivet D, Ollier S, Jeandroz S, Petit RJ (2008) Multilevel control of organelle DNA sequence length in plants. Journal of Molecular Evolution 66, 405-415.

Duminil J, Fineschi S, Hampe A, et al. (2007) Can population genetic structure be predicted from life-history traits? American Naturalist 169, 662-672.

Duminil J, Caron H, Scotti I, Cazal SO, Petit RJ (2006) Blind population genetics survey of tropical rainforest trees. Molecular Ecology 15, 3505-3513.

Aguinagalde I, Hampe A, Mohanty A, et al. (2005) Effects of life-history traits and species distribution on genetic structure at maternally inherited markers in European trees and shrubs. Journal of Biogeography 32, 329-339.

Petit RJ, Duminil J, Fineschi S, et al. (2005) Comparative organization of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear diversity in plant populations. Molecular Ecology 14, 689-701.

Duminil J, Pemonge MH, Petit RJ (2002) A set of 35 consensus primer pairs amplifying genes and introns of plant mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Ecology Notes 2, 428-430.

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  1. Jérôme Duminil